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Bare Fist Knuckle boxing - The Gentlemans Sport
Bare Knuckle Boxing dates back at least to the ancient Greeks, but perhaps as far back as Egypt circa 4000 B.C., where it was primarily a sport of taking punishment, the contestants trading blows, sometimes
with loaded or lead wrapped fists.
It is hard to say if the sport was
brought to the Britains with the invading Romans or if it developed from existing bare hand fighting techniques, though the latter seems more likely.
Ancient boxing was brutal with fighters wearing crude coverings on their hands, sometimes with spikes embedded in the knuckle area, to protect the hands and maximize potential damage to thehead and body of theother fighter.
18th century in England was when the introduction of bare knuckle fighting or "prizefighting" began.
The fighters wore no gloves which meant that they werefar more cautious when going for head shots due to the damage that it did to the hands.
Bare Knuckle Boxing / Classic Pugilism is the origin of modern Boxing. It was a popular sport in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia and Early America. The defining element of the art, as the name implies, is that this type of boxing, when applied to the ring, is practiced without the aid of protective gloves. The sport includes a number closed fist strikes and can include stand up grappling such as trips and throws.
It was also a time when women were known also to fight : Women’s boxing spread in England simultaneously with men’s boxing albeit not in famous venues and usually as prize fights. In addition to "men's technique" women used teeth, nails and hairpulling
References to female pugilists occur the source, mainly newspapers and travelers’ ( meaning those who just travelled about not as in Romany ) accounts, were seldom precise about the promoters of the bouts, but they were presunaly men .
The popularity of bare fist fighting among comunities of Gypsies and Irish Travellers served as a means to demonstrate individual prowness in a communal identity
For Gypsies, bareknuckle fighting is seen as a legitimate and acceptable sport:
Jack Cooper was 'the best gipsy of them all', and according to Famous Fights, would have went to his grave with an unbeaten record if 'town life' hadn't softened him. We learn that as the Coopers had always been famous as a fighting tribe of Gipsies, a lot was expected of Jack in his first appearance in the ring. His opponent, West-Country Dick had made a name for himself, but was knocked out in minutes. Jack earned five pounds for his efforts. A return match was hastily arranged one hour later! Jack won this too. Jack beat two Irishmen O'Leary and Dent, and by now had a fearsome reputation. A return with O'Leary ended in disaster with the death of the Irishman. Jack was charged with manslaughter and spent six months in prison. Soon after his release Jack was back in the ring. That he had killed a man in the ring led to fear in his opponents, but much larger crowds, all wanting to see the Gipsy hard man.http://www.famous-fights.com/
There is a very interesting Article dated November 1963 on this site
about Uriah Burton * Big Just
*THE WELL KNOWN ROMANY MAN WHO "HIT THE HEADLINES"
WHEN HE FAMOUSLY 'KIDNAPPED' MEN TO BUILD A STONE MONUMENT TO HIS
FATHER ON A REMOTE WELSH MOUNTAIN. *
This is a PDF file about Gypsies Kings & Bare knuckle Knights
* book extract * Left Hooks & dangerous Crooks by Tel Currie
Latest page update: made by sandeyb
, Jun 21 2011, 12:40 PM EDT
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